Thought for the Day – 25 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Why God Created Us
“We should ask the reason for everything which comes from the Hand of God. Have you ever seriously considered WHY you are in this world? It is certainly not for the sake of this passing earthly existence, for the sake of earning your living, or enjoying yourself. You know well, that the passing pleasures of this life do not satisfy the human heart and cannot be the final goal of life. Each one of us has a thirst for all that is infinite, eternal and perfect. God alone can satisfy this thirst. Just as we are created by God, so we are created for Him. Just as we came from God, so we are gradually travelling back towards Him, for He is the final goal of our earthly journey. We should meditate on this great truth which we were first taught in the Catechism, namely, that we were created to know, love and serve God on this earth and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. Let us not allow ourselves to be dazzled by earthly beauty. God alone is the eternal beauty which will satisfy our hearts.”
Friday of the Third Week of Lent – 25 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – The Annunciation – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38
“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” – Luke 1:28,42
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be to me according to your word.’”
“SO THE LORD NOW manifestly came to His own. Born by His own created order that He Himself bears, He by His obedience on the tree, renewed and reversed what was done by disobedience, in connection with a tree.
THE POWER of that seduction, by which the virgin Eve, already betrothed to a man, had been wickedly seduced, was broken when the Angel in truth brought good tidings to the Virgin Mary, who already, by her betrothal belonged to a man. For as Eve was seduced by the word of an Angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an Angel, received the glad tidings that she would bear God, by obeying His Word.
THE FORMER WAS SEDUCEDto disobey God and so fell but the latter, was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of Eve.
AS THE HUMAN RACE was subjected to death through the act of a virgin, so was it saved by a virgin, was precisely balanced by the obedience of Another. Then indeed, the sin of the first formed man was amended by the chastisement of the First Begotten, the wisdom of the serpent was conquered by the simplicity of the dove and the chains were broken, by which we were in bondage to death.” – St Irenaeus (130-202) Bishop of Lyons, Martyr, Father of the Church (Against Heresies, 5)
Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38
“He Who is Infinite, Limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the Child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal Doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the Cherubim… You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream,” that is to say, the waves of the Spirit’s gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be to me according to your word.’”
“The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once, if you consent. In the eternal Word of God, we all came to be and behold, we die. In your brief response, we are to be remade. in order to be recalled to life.
… Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the Angel, or rather, through the Angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the Divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the Eternal Word!”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) The Last Father and the Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
Blessed Shall be Her Name Anonymous Author
Praise we the Lord this day, This day so long foretold, Whose promise shone with cheering ray On waiting saints of old.
The prophet gave the sign That those with faith might read; A Virgin, born of David’s line Shall bear the promised Seed.
Ask not how this should be, But worship and adore; Like her whom Heaven’s majesty Came down to shadow o’er.
She meekly bowed her head To hear the gracious word, Mary, the pure and lowly maid, The favoured of the Lord.
Blessed shall be her name In all the Church on earth, Through whom that wondrous Mercy came, The Incarnate Saviour’s Birth.
Jesus, the Virgin’s Son, We praise You and adore, Who are with God the Father One And Spirit evermore. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Annunciation – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38
“Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28
REFLECTION – “The degeneration caused by sin had obscured the beauty of our original nobility. But when the mother of supreme Beauty is born, our nature finds its purity once more and sees itself moulded according to the perfect model, worthy of God (Gn 1,26)… We had all preferred the world below to that above. There no longer remained any hope of salvation. The state of our nature cried aloud to Heaven to come to the rescue… Then at last, in His good pleasure, the world’s Divine Artificer determined to make a new world appear, a different world full of harmony and youth.
Now was it not fitting, that a most pure virgin without stain, should place herself at the service of this mysterious plan first of all?… And where was this virgin to be found, if not in this woman, alone of her kind, chosen by the world’s Creator before all generations? Yes, she indeed is Mother of God, divinely named Mary, whose womb gave birth to God Incarnate and whom, He Himself had supernaturally prepared, as His Temple…
In this way, then, the design of the Redeemer of our race was to bring about a birth and, as it were, a new creation to replace the one that went before. Therefore, just as in Paradise, He had taken a litle clay out of the pure and spotless earth, to fashion the first Adam (Gn 2,7), so, at the moment of bringing about His Own Incarnation, He made use of another earth, so to speak, namely, this Pure and Immaculate Virgin, chosen from among all other beings He had created. It is in her that He, Adam’s Creator, has remade us in our very substance and become a new Adam (1Cor 15,45), that the old might be saved by the new and eternal.” – St Andrew of Crete (660-740) Bishop (Sermon 1 for the Nativity of the Mother of God ; PG 97, 812).
PRAYER – The Angelus V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, full of grace, The Lord is with Thee; Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary, etc. V. And the Word was made Flesh. R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. LET US PRAY Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 25 March – The Annunciation
O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
I salute you, O Mary! you are the hope of Christians. Receive the prayer of a sinner, who loves you tenderly, honours you in a special manner and places in you the whole hope of his salvation. From you I have my life. You reinstate me in the grace of your Son: you are the sure pledge of my salvation. I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me from the burden of my sins, dispel the darkness of my mind, banish from my heart the love of the world, repress the temptations of my enemies and so rule my whole life, that by your means and under your guidance, I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 25 March – St Lucia Filippini (1672-1732) Religious Sister, Founder of the Religious Teachers Filippini for whom she founded countless schools all over Italy, she concentrated too on raising her students to continue the work within their families in order to strengthen familt life and the role and dignity of woman. Born on 13 January 1672 at Cornetto, Tuscany, Italy and died on 25 March 1732 of cancer at Montefiascone, Italy. Patronage – the Religious Teachers Filippini. Also known as – Lucy Filippini.
Lucia was the fifth and youngest child of Filippo Filippini and Maddalena Picchi. She had not yet reached her first birthday when her mother died and was buried in the Church of San Marco. Her father, whom she loved dearly, also died six years later and was buried in the Church of Santa Margherita in Corneto. Now orphaned, Lucia went to live with her aunt and uncle. As a child Lucy would prepare small altars and pray devoutly. It was soon clear that she possessed a precocious intelligence, an inclination toward the spiritual life and a modesty that was truly angelic. Her vision was set on God. Notwithstanding her aristocratic upbringing, she always conducted herself with modesty and its practice.
At times Lucia would seek for a serene atmosphere in the nearby Benedictine Nuns’ Monastery of Santa Lucia. Lucia visited frequently, drawn there by her desire to be among those, whose lives and goodness she admired. It was here that she received her First Communion. Here, too, Lucia received the spiritual nourishment of which she never had enough and listened attentively to the explanations of the Divine Mysteries. The grace she felt can be understood from the joy and enthusiasm expressed later as she led and instructed others. She spoke with much fervour and her words of compassion and love, brought tears to the eyes of her companions. They were a prelude to Lucia’s future mission.
When Cardinal Mark Anthony Barbarigo made his first pastoral visit to Corneto, he made a lasting impression on Lucia and she followed him to Montefiascone. Entrusting herself to the Cardinal’s guidance, Lucia was eager to leave behind all worldly things. She had a special devotion to Our Lady, her spiritual Mother and throughout her life, her deep love for Mary and her faith, sustained her. Cardinal Barbarigo envisioned her as a key factor to bring about a rebirth of Christian living. He had already begun by establishing a seminary where young priests might study and train for the ministry of the Word.
The next step was to develop a Christian conscience and encourage the practice of virtue in the home; this he resolved to do by opening schools for young ladies, particularly the children of the poor, in whom he saw hope for the future. Lucia would head the schools they founded to promote the dignity of womanhood and help influence a healthy family life. Together they looked ahead to fulfilling their generous, ardent and profound mission of faith and charity. In 1692, teachers were trained to staff the rapidly expanding schools.
The young ladies of Montefiascone were taught domestic arts, weaving, embroidering, reading and Christian doctrine. Twelve years later the Cardinal devised a set of rules to guide Lucia and her followers, in the religious life. Fifty-two schools were established during Lucia’s lifetime. As the Community grew, it attracted the attention of Pope Clement XI who, in 1707, called Lucia to Rome to start schools, which he placed under his special protection. Here she completed the work of founding the schools.
To complement the work of the schools, Lucia and her Teachers conducted classes and conferences for women, who were strengthened in their faith as they took part in prayer, meditation and good works. Her focus for the social apostolate was to encourage her Teachers to minister to the needs of the poor and the sick . Her method of teaching attracted widespread attention. The social apostolate was an extension of the classroom. She testified that the young ladies were the co-ordinating element that underlies family life: ‘Having learned in school those things that were necessary, they repeat them to parents and relatives at home and thus become so many young teachers.’
Lucy died at sixty years of age on 25 March 1732, on Feast of the Annunciation. For three centuries, the example of Christian womanhood that marked the lives of her Teachers and students was recognised by Holy Mother Church. On 22 June 1930, Lucia Filippini was declared a Saint of the Church by Pope Pius XI and her Statue was given the last available niche in the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome. Her statue can be seen in the first upper niche from the main entrance on the left (south) side of the nave of St Peter’s. The Institute, which bears the name of Lucia Filippini, owes its birth to the Cardinal who loved schools and to the Holy Teacher, who committed her entire life to the educative-apostolic mission.
Bl Everard of Nellenburg Bl Herman of Zahringen St Hermenland St Humbert of Pelagius Bl James Bird Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska St Kennocha of Fife St Lucia Filippini (1672-1732) Religious Sister, Founder.
St Matrona of Barcelona St Matrona of Thessaloniki St Mona of Milan St Ndre Zadeja St Nicodemus of Mammola Bl Pawel Januszewski St Pelagius of Laodicea Bl Placido Riccardi St Procopius St Quirinus of Rome Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro
262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 ChristiansMmartyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.